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Posts related to sound and music.

At one point I was in a experimental trio with musicians Cynthia Payne and Leaf Tine. We would get together and play experimental music over Internet 2 with Stanford CCRMA and Rensselaer. Leaf's primary instruments were a circuit bent keyboard, amplified rocks, and a joystick synthesizer, which I was always envious of.

Since I am now acquainted with electronics, I created my own joystick synthesizer. It is a modified pc joystick with a built-in square wave oscillator and lowpass filter. It is an excellent sound source to use on its own or feed into effects. I have posted the schematic and parts list so that you can build your own (I take no responsibility for damage you cause to your speaker or yourself ... etc)!

Sound exploration with Joy Stick routed through effects:

Demo Video:
Schematic: Schematic
Parts List: Parts List

June 2009


HARMONY - multiple sounds being noticed at the same time - John Cage

Zyo-Ha-Kyu is a game for musical meditation. 1 player controls an abstract virtual world which generates a musical score as a side effect. 3 players play this musical score on pseudo-spiritual instruments. The "performance" of these players feeds back into player 1's world. If everyone does everything right, then the game will end with silence.

Demonstration Video

This video tries to make it easier to understand what is happening. There is also some audio to give an idea of what the game sounds like.

Performance Video

This video documents the only live performance. Unfortunately there was a camera malfunction and the video appears choppy. Nonetheless, it gives a rough idea of what Zyo-Ha-Kyu is like in a live performance.

Liner Notes

ZYO - introduction HA - development or exposition KYU - rushing to the end ∞ The system. A system for cooperative musical mediation for three students and one teacher. A system for spontaneous musical composition and performance for three musicians and one composer. This system is made up of three main components. The first is an interface for composing music. This composition is fed in realtime to the second component which is a visualizer of this composition. This dynamic musical score will be played on the third component, which is a set of real musical instruments/sound makers. The performance by the musicians affects the composer. The goal is to meditate and clear your mind. The system is realized in Processing/Java, and Actionscript 3. The musical instruments are interfaced with an Arduino board. The two applications communicate with OSC (Open Sound Control) with a FLOSC ( ////////////////////// ∞ The Five Natural Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. Everything in the Universe is said to be created from the five elements, and all change is caused by changes in the power of these elements. The seasons, directions, nations, colors, and other phenomena are associated with the natural elements. In Music, the system of pitch and scale is explained in terms of them. In the oldest book on music in Japan, Kyokunsyo, in the section Kargemonogatari (a story of wind and string instruments), Autumn is related to Kyo Zyo, sound of metal, and color white. Itikotu Tyo is the center , the sound of the earth, yellow, and light purple.

February 2008
Materials: Arduino, Contact Microphones, Eletret Microphones, DIY Instruments, Processing, Flash, Box2d

My Sound World

My Sound World is an album which is a reflection of my changing outlook towards sound and music. It is about experimenting with and embracing of all sounds. It is about degrees of composition - some tracks are composed songs, other are recorded sounds, some contain musical improvisation, some tracks are renditions of songs composed by other artists, some tracks are played with other musicians, another track is about learning to play an instrument, and one was created with loops on a Sega Dreamcast.

Together this is a collection of sounds that I hear and create. Uniquely, they form my sound identity or my sound world.

This release is also the fruit of a challenge to create a 45-minute 20-track album in a few months. It is technically my third album. It's dedicated to whomever it may concern.

Additional Files:

September 2007

100 Meeting Places

In 2007 I was a member of Synthia Payne's experimental improvisational ensemble. This culminated in a tele-performance with Pauline Oliveros over internet-2 (the separate faster internet). Four ensembles in different locations followed live conducting broadcast through video chat.

Synthia Payne writes:

"100 Meeting Places 2007" by Pauline Oliveros and under her direction from RPI. Participants include Chris Chafe et al at Stanford CCRMA, Sarah Weaver's ensembles at Loyola Chicago, and yours truly in Santa Cruz, Synthia Payne, with leaf tine, richard caceres, jamie burkart, and chris mix. This was a 4-way live performance between the four locations over Internet2. My participation was in partial completion of my MFA in Digital Arts and New Media at UC Santa Cruz in 2007. Enjoy!

Full Audio:
Short video of video chat:
Video from rehearsal:

March 27, 2007